The assailant, killed by the police, would have been a member of Hamas.
Three people were injured this Thursday in a shooting in Tel Aviv, the Israel Police reported, describing the incident as a “terrorist attack” amid an escalation of violence in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“A report was received about a terrorist attack in Tel Aviv. A suspect shot three civilians who were injured,” the Police said in a statement, which specified that the attacker “was neutralized by police officers.”
Although no details about the identity of the attacker were officially revealed, the Israeli authorities usually describe armed attacks committed by Palestinians or Israeli Arabs for nationalist reasons as a “terrorist attack”, reports the EFE news agency.
The Jewish News Agency released a video, circulating on Palestinian social networks, where a man calls for jihad (holy war), hours before the attack.
According to the same outlet, he was identified as 23-year-old Mu’taz al-Khwaja, who reported to Hamas. He was an illegal resident and had been to prison twice.
For his part, the Israeli Minister of National Security, the ultra-nationalist Itamar Ben Gvir, wrote on Twitter: “I congratulate the fighter of the Border Guard (Israel’s militarized police), who in a courageous action eliminated the despicable terrorist.”
For its part, the Israeli Magen David Adom emergency services reported that the three victims, in their 20s, were transferred to Ichilov Hospital: one in critical and unconscious condition, another in serious condition and another with a reserved prognosis.
The attack, perpetrated on Dizengoff Street, in the heart of Tel Aviv, occurred as thousands of people demonstrated in the city against the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Protest organizers will call on participants to stop the marches and “go home.”
Netanyahu, who is on an official visit to Italy, referred to the incident in a statement.
“Tonight there has been another terrorist attack in the heart of Tel Aviv. We send, first of all, our wishes for a speedy recovery to the injured, and we encourage the security forces and the police who are fighting the terrorists (… .) We will continue to build our nation and deepen our roots,” he said.
Netanyahu, who has led the most right-wing government in Israel’s history since last December along with his ultra-nationalist and ultra-Orthodox partners, often refers to the extension of Jewish settler settlements in the occupied West Bank when he speaks of “deepening one’s roots.”
The Palestinian-Israeli conflict has experienced a serious escalation of violence with 85 deaths since the beginning of 2023.
Deadly attacks by Palestinians and Jewish settlers, as well as ongoing Israeli army raids in the occupied West Bank leading to clashes with militants, have killed 71 Palestinians and 14 people on the Israeli side, many of them civilians.
With information from agencies